2 Simple present

Simple present

Annapurna Madhuri


 When the verb in a sentence refers to present time, without mentioning anything about the completeness or incompleteness of an action, it is in the present tense.

Simple present tense is used to depict actions

  1. taking place at the time of speaking
  2. taking place for a finite period of time (show completion)
  3. taking place a t the moment, now
  4. taking place repeatedly – again and again
  5. showing how often it happens
  6. truths and facts of real life
  7. commentaries on live events like sports commentaries.

 Signal words indicating present tense are: everyday, often, sometimes, always, usually, seldom, never, first…then, …

Let us discuss all these points in detail.

Learning Objectives

At the end of this lesson, all learners will be able to:

  1. Identify different situations where simple present tense is used.
  2. Use the simple present tense in affirmative, negative, and interrogative sentences.
  3. Apply the rule of subject-verb agreement to sentences in simple present tense. 

Exercises: Previous knowledge

Exercise: Identify the tenses in the given sentences:

Quick Read

The paragraph below is about a 12 year old girl, talking about her best friend.  Read carefully and later we will discuss about it.

My best friend

My best friend is Shreya.  She is twelve years old.  We know each other very well because, we both study in the same school and in the same class.  She is my neighbour and we go to school together everyday.  We have been friends for seven years.  We both joined school the same day.  Our mothers are friends too. Shreya is a loving and true friend.  She always shares her toys and storybooks with me.  We usually play together in the park nearby, till the sun sets in the evening.  We often go home before it is dark.  She sings very well.  She taught me how to sing and we sometimes sing together at school events.  She likes to play cricket, but she is not good at it.  So, I teach her to play cricket.  We both plan to go to my grandmother’s place during the summer holidays.  I wish her parents permit her to go with us.  And, as I tell you all about her, I see her entering the gate of my house. And here she comes!!

We use simple present tense to describe actions that take place in the current time, a daily practice, regular habit or to express a fact or an opinion.

Let’s make sure we’ve understood this.

Focus Areas

 Let us now explore how simple present tense is used to:

  1. Express something that takes place her and now: My best friend is Shreya.,  I teach her to play cricket.
  2. Express a habitual action: Eg. we go to school together everyday. we sometimes sing together at school events. 
  3. Express truths/facts: the sun sets in the evening. 
  4. In exclamatory sentences: And here she comes!!
  5. Indicate a future event that is a plan: We both plan to go to my grandmother’s place during the summer holidays. 
  6.  Simple present tense in place of present continuous tense with verbs of perception (see), appearance, emotions, thinking and possession(have/has): i see her. not I am seeing her.   


 We use verb+s/es with singular nouns and pronouns.

We use base form of verb with plural nouns and pronouns.


The sentence structure in simple present tense:

Affirmative sentences:

Subject + verb (s/es) + object

Sumayya paints pictures

Negative sentences:

Subject + does not + verb (s/es) + object

Sumayya does not paint pictures.

Interrogative sentences:

Does/did + Subject + verb + object (optional)+ question tag

Does Sumayya paint pictures?



Additional Self-check Exercises



Icon for the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License

Simple present Copyright © 2019 by Annapurna Madhuri is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

https://doi.org/Effective English for Teachers

Share This Book